Spector jury has reached a verdict
The jury in Phil Spector’s murder retrial has reached a verdict.
The decision, which comes after nearly 32 hours of deliberations over nine days, will be read at 1:30 p.m., according to the L.A. Superior Court’s public information office. Spector faces at least 18 years in prison if convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Lana Clarkson, an actress shot in the legendary music producer’s Alhambra mansion six years ago. A lesser charge, involuntary manslaughter, carries two to four years in prison.
Over the course of the trial, which began in October, the prosecution portrayed Spector, 69, as a sadistic misogynist who had a three-decade “history of playing Russian roulette with the lives of women” when he was drunk. A prosecutor told jurors in her summation that “by the grace of God, five other women got the empty chamber and lived to tell. Lana just happened to be the sixth woman who got the bullet.”
But Spector’s defense team contended that Clarkson died by her own hand. They said she was depressed over her flagging career and the accompanying financial worries, and may have committed suicide impulsively after hours of late-night drinking with Spector. “In that moment, given all of the things that were wrong in her life . . . can you say she would not have been capable of committing as self-destructive act?” defense attorney Doron Weinberg asked jurors in his closing arguments.
The panel of six men and six women includes three gun owners, seven people who reported knowing someone who committed suicide and one man who said he was a fan of Spector. A 2007 trial ended when the jury deadlocked 10 to 2 in favor of conviction.
-- Harriet Ryan
Photo: Phil Spector listens during closing arguments in his retrial on murder charges on March 26, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: Getty Images